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Social Change Courses @ Northeastern

Northeastern is a leader in experiential teaching, scholarship and activism that advance the solving of real-world problems. The following is a list of Spring 2023 courses that address social change and social justice.

For information about course requirements, please contact the college. Click on “filter” to sort by college or topic. For more about institutes and centers that address public problem solving, click here. To register for one of these courses, please visit the Northeastern Student Hub.


The following is a partial list that will be regularly updated. Notice something missing? Let us know at [email protected]


Courses: Social Change @ Northeastern

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  • Environmental Economics

    Course Number: CED 6120

    Department: Commerce and Economic Development – CPS (CED)

    Analyzes efficient allocation of environmental resources and the impact on commerce and economic development. Includes additional topics such as the negative impact of economic activities on air and water with consideration of effective public policy. Explores current issues—such as global warming, habitat and species protection, etc.—and requires consideration of worldwide approaches and solutions to international problems.

  • Environmental Health

    Course Number: PHTH 2414

    Department: Public Health (PHTH)

    Offers an overview of the field of environmental health, with focus on what the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences terms “environmental public health.” This broad field increasingly involves transdisciplinary approaches that use social science/environmental health collaborations, and it includes the physical, built, and social environments. Asks students to think critically about the economic, scientific, social, and political factors that shape environmental health and to consider how the field is relevant to other public health issues.

  • Environmental Health

    Course Number: PHTH 5214

    Department: Public Health (PHTH)

    Introduces the field of environmental health, which encompasses concerns related to physical, built, and social environments. Discusses the tools used to study environmental exposures and diseases. Examines environmental health hazards, the routes by which humans are exposed to hazards, various media in which they are found, and disease outcomes associated with exposures. Offers students an opportunity to become familiar with methods used to conduct environmental health research and with the federal and state agencies responsible for protecting environmental health.

  • Environmental Issues, Comm + Media

    Course Number: COMM 3500

    Department: Communication Studies (COMM)

    Analyzes major debates over the environment, climate change, and related technologies such as nuclear energy, wind power, natural gas “fracking,” and food biotechnology. Studies the relevant scientific, political, and ethical dimensions of each case; the generalizable theories, frameworks, and methods that scholars use to analyze them; and the implications for effective public communication, policymaker engagement, and personal decision making. Offers students an opportunity to gain an integrated understanding of their different roles as professionals, advocates, and consumers and to improve their ability to find and use expert sources of information; assess competing media claims and narratives; write persuasive essays, analyses, and commentaries; and author evidence-based research papers.

  • Environmental Justice

    Course Number: SOCL 4522

    Department: Sociology (SOCL)

    Offers students an opportunity to engage in advanced social science research on topics relating to environmental justice, citizen science, and environmental health. Examines various environmental justice topics with the goal of producing a research project or paper. Case studies examined include the impacts of toxic waste dumping on human health and the environment, the role of global climate change in creating new waves of migration around the world, the rise of the Slow Food movement, and the relationship between environmental and data justice. Studies how to redesign research methods, tools, and processes to support environmental justice.

  • Environmental Politics and Policies

    Course Number: POLS 2395

    Department: Political Science (POLS)

    Examines the political forces, governmental institutions, socioeconomic factors, and global trends that shape environmental policy at national and subnational levels in the United States. A spectrum of different environmental issues is discussed, with some comparison of policy activity in the U.S., other nations, and at the global level.

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